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The Journey of Elon Musk

Well, you all have heard a lot about Elon Musk. He is the guy who seems to just have arrived from another planet to casually disrupt the world, one industry at a time. Many see him as one of the great industrial minds of the 21st century. The engineers’ engineer! Even If you haven’t heard of him, chances are you’ll still see in his influence. You know that movie Ironman? As it turns out Musk provided a large amount of inspiration for the Hollywood character Tony Stark. In fact, parts of Iron Man 2 were actually filmed inside and outside of SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private rocket company!

Elon Musk's Cameo in Iron Man 2

Musk even made a cameo in the film. You may have also heard of the Tesla Model S. It’s a fully electric car project spearheaded by Musk and was awarded 5.4 out of 5 from the National Highway Safety Administration. The highest rating ever given to an automobile. All this comes after co-founding a payment system that you may have heard of, PayPal. Coincidentally, PayPal was the very same company that used to employ the founders of YouTube!

So, who is Elon Musk really? How did he achieve all of these things? And what’s the story behind him? In this post, we’ll find out. Let’s get straight into it.

The Early Days

Elon Reeve Musk was born in South Africa in 1971. His mother was a model and his father was an engineer. He was the oldest of three kids and started primary school a year early as a kid. Elon Musk was a bit of an outsider and loved to read but got picked on for being smart. Unlike his brother and sister, Elon Musk didn’t have a great social life but didn’t mind spending time reading comics instead.  Despite being an outsider, it was clear early on that he was a smart kid.

 Kimbal Musk

Elon Musk was ten years old when he got tested by IBM and he was found heaven, one of the highest aptitudes they’d ever seen for computer programming —  Kimbal Musk, his brother

Around this time, he had an interest in programming, Musk just taught himself computer programming and created a video game called blaster, which he sold for 500$.

Finding His Way

In 1989, 17-year old Musk moved from South Africa to Canada. Eventually he would move to America and attend college at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, Musk moved to California and began graduate studies in physics at Stanford University. His main interest of space exploration. But the thing was right at this time, the world was going through a revolutionary shift. The internet boom was reaching full swing. After just 2 days, Elon Musk would leave Stanford and take advantage of the boom. This decision would alter the course of his life and ultimately change the world.

The Beginning

After dropping out of grad school, Musk quickly established his first company Zip2, which provided online newspapers with maps and business directories. He sold the company in 1999 to Compaq for 307 million dollars. Musk himself netted 22 million dollars out of the sale. Although Zip2 revolutionize newspapers, Elon Musk was frustrated that it wasn’t a game-changer on the world stage. In a matter of months, Musk was on to the next project.

Elon Musk and Peter Thiel | X.com and PayPal

In 1999, he founded X.COM, an online payment company that eventually became PayPal. It was acquired by eBay for 1.5 billion dollars in stock, of which 180 million was given to Musk. PayPal fundamentally changed the way people transferred money to one another. And also how they bought and sold things. For some context, at the time it was still common for people to mail cheques to each other. A very slow and archaic process, taking weeks to complete a single transaction.

Musk could change the financial industry. But now he wanted to change the course of humanity itself. In 2002, he found the Space Exploration Technologies, otherwise known as SpaceX.


Elon Musk's SpaceX

SpaceX is a company that creates and manufactures vehicles, primarily rocket technology. The aim to reduce the cost of space flight, in hopes of expanding human life beyond Earth. Doing such an ambitious project required a great deal of money. Musk initially found it impossible to get funding for SpaceX which many investors saw as a pipe dream. Going against traditional business practices, Musk channeled all his money into the company to make it a reality and a reality it became!!

Elon Musk's Tesla

SpaceX currently has a 1.6 billion dollar contract with NASA to resupply and eventually ferry people to the International Space Station. Musk has reduced the cost of reaching the International Space Station by over 80%. After SpaceX, in 2004 Musk would help fund TeslaThe first Tesla car, the Tesla Roadster was the first electric vehicle to break the public’s conceptual mold of an Electric car. After this, came the model S, of which the fastest models can do 0 to 60 mph and 2.8 seconds.


Elon Musk's Hyperloop

In 2013, Elon introduced his latest endeavor, the Hyperloop. It’s a form of transportation that theoretically could send people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in half an hour by the way of pressurized tubes. Of course, it’s not a new idea but Musk has overseen a competition to build the transport system to advance the technology. Elon Musk is also one of the major driving forces behind Solar City, a company founded by one of his cousins. Musk has also released the powerwall, a simple battery pack designed to power the home off the grid.

Elon Musk's SolarCity

Despite his enormous recent success it hasn’t all been smooth sailing both his flagship companies. SpaceX and Tesla Motors came alarmingly close to failing. Tesla’s first electric car the Roadster faced an ongoing string of problems and the company suffered financial woes. SpaceX had three launch failures before the fourth one was a success.

There’s been two more recent problems for Tesla specifically. The first fatal Tesla car crash with autopilot engaged recently occurred. This has put Tesla under federal investigation even though it’s clearly stated that autopilot is a driving aid and not fully autonomous driving.

Please remember that these features are meant only for highway use keep your hands on the wheel at all times and stay alert. (As said in Tesla commercial)

Facts About Elon Musk

All right, let’s move on to a few facts about Elon Musk

  • Musk was named one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire magazine.
  • In 2013, Elon was named fortunes business person at the year for SpaceX, SolarCity and Tesla Motors
  • Musk’s official annual salary for Tesla Motors is just one dollar.
  • Elon has signed The Giving Pledge in which pledges promised to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropic efforts.
  • On January 25th 2015, Musk made an appearance on The Simpsons episode titled The Musk who fell to earth. he played himself and was a good sport about the episode which mainly poked fun at many of Musk’s ideas.

Here goes everything in just one pic.

Elon Musks Journey | KickResume

Some Interesting Philosophies – Elon Musk

Okay, so let’s bring this all together and make this post beneficial for you, the viewer. So now that you’ve read all that is achieved. It’s clear that there must be some special philosophies and successful traits that Elon possesses.

What are they? And what can we learn from him? Let’s listen from Elon himself…

Elon MuskWhatever area that you get into, given that you know even if you’re the best of the best. There’s always a chance of failure. So I think it’s important that you really, like whatever you’re doing. If you don’t like it, life is too short. If you like what you’re doing you think about it even when you’re not working. It’s something that your mind is drawn to and if you don’t like it, you just really can’t make it work I think.


Personal Potential – Elon Musk

Elon MuskThere’s no need even to have a college degree. If somebody graduated from a great university, that maybe an indication that they will be capable of great things but it’s not necessarily the case. You know, If you look at say people like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs. These guys didn’t graduate from college but if you had a chance to hire them, of course that would be a good idea.

So essentially, you don’t need a degree to be something, never give up, love what you do and work hard. You can relate them to lot of the guys that started some of the world’s biggest companies today. All possess these characteristics. So now that you have some knowledge on keys to success. the choice on how you apply it is up to you.

Conclusion – Elon Musk

And that’s the story of Elon Musk, a bit of what he is doing today and some of the traits that make him successful. When you think about it, it’s pretty cool that all these achievements we’re done by the kid. He used to be bullied in school and didn’t have much of a social life. Sometimes the underdog really does come out on top!

Thanks for reading the whole thing.  Feel free to subscribe to my blog and give this post a thumbs up and leave a comment, sharing your thoughts. This is SM Raiyyan. I’ll see you again soon in the next post.

Thanks guys! Enjoy yourselves and have a good one!!!

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22 Responses

  1. Naveen BABU says:

    why he has all failures?

    • raiyyansm says:

      Those are the stepping stones of Elon Musk Naveen. You see, even though he hit many roadblocks, he emerged as a winner! “Winners never QUIT and Quitters never WIN”

  2. Eloise says:

    He has a very interesting background. Those people with ideas that revolutionised the world (PayPal makes it so easy for anyone to do business online!!!) are impressive, and inspiring. Despite the failures, he doesn’t stop trying. Great story!

  3. Sreekar says:

    I have been a big fan of Elon Musk ever since I read a few posts about him on waitbutwhy. I especially love his SpaceX venture which intends to colonize Mars in near future. Exciting times ahead!

  4. none says:

    Good one,you missed out the boring company!

  5. Now that you have mentioned it I can see clear similarities between Musk and Tony Stark. Both individuals show that regardless of setbacks you should always try, no matter how society treats you or what they think of you. Be the best you that you can be.

  6. Ali Rost says:

    I’ve heard of Elon Musk but had no idea his background was so diverse. In everything from Compaq to PayPal, he’s been a driving force behind so many things that influence our world today!

  7. jhilmil says:

    Great to read one more inspiration. I did not knew of his ample failures and despite them he has achieved something above phenomenal. I have been a fan of Elon Musk.

  8. Akamatra says:

    He is a force to be reckoned that’s for sure. What a story his is! He has set his way into history.

  9. This is so inspirational! I have heard about Elon Musk but I didn’t know about his failures. Failure is one of the most common factors in success stories and still we are afraid of failure. 🙂

  10. Jajwalya says:

    Oh yes, I have read about Elon Musk in his books and watched all his interviews. Working in any field he has put a finger in, would be the dream!

  11. Tiina A says:

    I could only connect him with Tesla and didn’t know he’s so diverse. Wonderful story, and something we all could learn from.

  12. Great article. I didn’t know much about this man, but he is clearly a large influence and a game changer for our century.

  13. I have never heard of Elon Musk but this was really interesting to read. It sounds like he was quite a character and a real driving force!

  14. Made Adayasa says:

    Elon Musk , I don’t know and I never heard about this name . But I really like to read your article . And he is / Musk was named one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire magazine . Which is amazing

  15. Kallia says:

    A Tony Stark and Elon Musk is an odd comparison, but it kinda works! And yes, you need to have some failures in order to pick yourself up and achieve greatness!

  16. Sheri says:

    Great insight to learn more about him, his background and the challenges he has faced. I had heard about him but this was mostly new information!

  17. Blair villanueva says:

    Elon Mush is indeed a genius guy with kickass vision. And also have an influential super model Mom!

  18. Shabana says:

    Great piece of work champ!!
    Elon’s life has been briefed so subtly in this. I felt you are better than Ashlee Vance. You know what I mean right?

  1. October 23, 2017

    […] That’s it for the post. More of that coming soon Stay tuned. Find me on Quora – Here Read about Elon Musk […]

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